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today. the pontiff touched on political themes as well, calling for peace in syria and appealing to italians to embrace the spirit of cooperation in upcoming elections. >> tens of thousands of people showed up in st. peter's square to hear benedict's message, and millions to and in worldwide. >> tens of thousands of people turned out to hear the pope's christmas message. the square erupted in applause as the pontiff stepped out to address the crowd. he revisited one of the themes of his christmas eve message -- the wish for peace in the middle east. turning and i to syria, he called for an end to the conflict -- turning an eye to syria. the pope appealed to those responsible to stop the bloodshed and slaughter of innocent people. he called for dialogue in order to find a political solution to the conflict. the pope then delivered a christmas message in 65 languages. >> remind the world that true happiness lies in their hearts with hope and joy, for the savior has been born for us. >> for many in the audience, hearing the message in their own language was an obvious highlight. the
's request for the deployment of patriot anti-missile systems to areas along its border with syria. turkey wants the patriots to help it intercept street fire from syria's civil war. >> the alliance has also expressed its grave concern of reports that syria may be preparing to use chemical weapons against rebel forces. the statement echoes a strong warning issued by u.s. president barack obama on monday. >> more than 40,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in march 2011. here's a look at what the alliance's defense will look like on turkey's border to syria. >> it is designed to detect, intercept, and hit an enemy missile. there are batteries like these stationed in germany. some could be deployed to turkey within weeks. berlin is calling it a legitimate request from a nato ally. >> turkey has already been hit by cross-border mortar fire from syria, so it is understandable that turkey is holon and has asked the alliance for a sign of solidarity. refusing that request would have profound implications for the alliance and send the wrong signal to the regime of president assad
the coalition of syrian opposition groups. >> that endorsement came as the friends of syria group met in morocco to discuss ways of ending the conflict. >> this internet footage purports to show the aftermath of explosions on the outskirts of the syrian capital of damascus. two other explosions were reported targeting the interior ministry and the justice ministry. state-run television reported at least one death and several injuries in what it called terrorist attacks. as the violence continued on the ground, diplomacy continued elsewhere. representatives of 130 countries met with opposition figures in morocco. the so-called friends of syria group recognized the opposition as the legitimate representative of the syrian people. following the lead of the eel and the u.s. -- of the eu and the u.s. >> this is an important step. we think it is important the national coalition continue to work on democratic and -- on the democratic platform. this is the new and democratic syria. this is a serious in which -- a syria in which all other religious and ethnic groups have a clear place. >> the secretary g
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